It’s a mystery really, how we “find our tribe.” I met my 1st friend from 1st grade on the 1st day of school, and we are still dear friends, I’d say she is my best friend, despite her 1st words to me being, “you have bad breath.” Maybe I did, I was 5 years old, who knows?! My 2nd best friend I met in my 2nd semester of gym when I was a freshman in high school, and we are still dear friends and I’d say she too is my best friend, despite her first words to me being, “why do you dress like a boy?” To be fair, I did at that time live in 501 Levi’s and Docksider suede sneakers and t-shirts from Freedom Surf Shop. But, knowing nothing about a person, and then learning some things, turns out to be everything, when you find somebody you connect to and with. In the same way that Barbie clothes fit Monster High girls, and in the same way that Mega Bloks will make a tower just fine if mixed with Discovery Kids blocks, relationships manage, in some miraculous way, to mix people with seemingly different everythings, and they form bonds, lasting loving bonds, out of lots of little nothings.
I have a few friends in cyber-space who I seldom, and some NEVER, see, but their value to me is no less significant than friends I see or speak with regularly. I am becoming of the mind that it is what we think about people, and what we think about circumstances, and how we feel about both that matters more than anything else. If I have positive and loving thoughts about a person, it does not really matter to me how often I see that person, it matters most to me how I feel when I think about that person, or what I think about that person. Just like if I have high hopes about a situation or a circumstance. I think this is part of the magic of finding one’s tribe. People with whom you connect on a level that is a mix of the physical and the mental, and when it “feels” right, it is something magical.
I always said, for all of my adult life, that I would never date a man with kids. When I was a young single mother I had visions of a beautiful family becoming part of my world, by visions of marrying a man, and him adopting my child, and us having children together, and making a home and making a family, and a white picket fence to box it all in…and all that fairy-tale-stuff that never happened for me…never even came close. In what universe would it happen that MANY years later, after I gave up all my familial dreams, I meet a man who has a child just a half a year older than my eldest grandchild and not even three years older than my youngest?? AND that they click together almost like sisters?? And suddenly I am a woman who, when out with said man, and said three girls, people often assume is part of that fairy-tale family I always imagined. It’s funny that yesterday the little one said to me, “Nana my friend asked me ‘which one was your mom’ after my party.” It seems that she has a friend who has a mom who is older than I am…she found it hilarious that her friend’s mother is a few months older than her Nana, they discussed this! So, while my little family “dream” of three little girls and a boy who loves me, never worked out for me in the exact way I envisioned it, it “sort-of” did, and this is one of the funny things about the universe…maybe it gives us what it knows we need, and not what we think we need…like that expression I have heard and read too many times to count, “want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”
I had a third “best” friend for many years…20 or so, maybe more, and when I met her it was really like magic, I felt a connection and a “vibe” that bordered on miraculous. She was my first “real friendship” that I formed as a “grown-up.” I met and became friendly with lots of people during my years of college and my various jobs, but this woman became a really important part of my life, for a really long time. That we shared a love of Eddie Vedder’s voice and that she was up for going to lots and LOTS of Pearl Jam concerts that neither of us could really afford was just an added part of the joy of our friendship. She had a devoted and hard-working husband, and three beautiful and brilliant daughters and we had, for a long time, a really deep friendship. But it ended. With very little explanation from her and many assumptions on my part, what was really good for a really long time, just ended. Much like a boyfriend I guess, who you are crazy about and the sex is amazing, and you go on great vacations and do all the things you wanted to do, and then you just don’t love each other anymore…so it ended, and all those little somethings that became everythings to me, about her, and us, became nothings. It just ended. And while I felt for a long time that she was the most significant part of my tribe, she felt otherwise, and we stopped being friends…it was a loss that hurt me deeply, but I accepted it, like I have accepted every break-up of my life. It is what it is, as people like to say…Everythings can become nothings just as easily as somethings become everythings…
It’s very easy for all of us to look at and focus on what is going wrong in our lives, in our country, on this planet we share, and when we get bogged down by all that is wrong, we have a very hard time zooming in on all that is right. I am of an age, and of a mindset now that the camera of my life ought to focus on the best view, the best image, the best vision. I can choose to focus on the nothings, or I can choose to zoom in on the somethings, and most of all, I can embrace all of the bits that become the everythings. I’ve read that ‘our vibe attracts our tribe’ and I believe this. Our ability to see and accept how nothings become somethings that grow to be everythings…it’s how it all comes to be, the you and the me, the us, the we.